Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday morning things

* My chair is out today. She says she hopes it's "allergies." I hope it is too; usually this time every year she gets some kind of upper-respiratory crud that steals her voice (once or twice I've had to fill in for her at recruitment days). So faculty meeting today is cancelled and I won't hear right away about the status of the student with the companion-dog in my class. (Long story short: a student in my intro lab e-mailed me and in the course of the e-mail let drop that they would be bringing a dog with them to class. No mention of if it's an "official" (e.g. the kind of dog that can recognize when someone's about to have a seizure and guide them down to the floor so they're safe) service animal or not. The complication is, "comfort animals" are a huge gray area - especially in lab. (If it were lecture and the animal were adequately well-trained and not something that might freak out other students - a "comfort python," for example - I probably wouldn't say anything.) But it's lab, where we use glassware and some hazardous chemicals and I know our disability concerns person has said we have the right to say comfort animals are not to come in labs.

The fact that I have no paperwork from disability concerns about it makes me concerned it's not an "official" animal, and I hate the thought of having to be the "bad guy" who says, "No, we can't let your comfort dog into lab because of safety reasons." And it bugs me that I, the most conflict-avoidant and obsessive-over-having-to-disappoint-people person in the department is the first person to have to contend with this.

Oh well. This week is just some placement testing so if the dog comes to lab it will be okay - as long as the dog is well-behaved.My main concern is if the dog doesn't just stay quietly in one place it could be a problem with spilled chemicals or broken glassware - we usually have at least a few broken glassware incidents in lab where some glass gets on the floor.

* I had my own animal adventure yesterday. I was putting stuff away in the kitchen (like many electric stoves, mine has a drawer underneath for storage, which is where I keep my large frypans). I opened it to put one away, and as I was closing it, a small mouse popped out from under it. I don't know if the mouse was injured (e.g., I hit it with the drawer and damaged it) or if it was affected by the fact that I had the oven on at the time (I was heating up some food), or if it ate some kind of cleaning product I had on hand (I joked about Tide Pods because that's the thing, but it would have had to have been a dishwasher-detergent pod, because I use liquid Tide). Anyway, it seemed unwell - instead of jumping up and running for cover, it was lying on the floor on its side, twitching.

I knew I had to get rid of it. I knew I didn't want to get near it. I stood there staring at it for what seemed like five minutes but was probably shorter. "Do I try to pop a glass over it and slide a card underneath, like I do with spiders?" except getting to the glasses would mean stepping over the mouse, and like I said, I didn't want to get too near in case it was in some way diseased or might try to bite me.

Then I realized my "grabber" (kind of like this one; it was a prize one year at the city trash-off) was within reach. So I took it and managed to gently-enough grab the mouse around its middle, and I carried it outside. (There, I humanely disposed of the mouse - I figured it was on its way out anyway, it didn't act normally - and put it in the trash).

But yeah. Once again it's a good thing I am merely wary of mice and not actually fearful of them, but I wish they'd stop finding their way into the house. (I don't know if they come up through the pipe chase or what. I know they can get in through a space smaller in diameter than a quarter, so trying to find and block any and all gaps would be impossible.)

I need to break out the peppermint oil again. In an old house, deterrence is easier than full-on prevention-of-entry.

I did wipe down the floor with soap afterwards. I joked about cleaning the floor "with fire," but not really. (And anyway - I don't think there are TOO many diseases that could be spread that way, and even most viruses and bacteria deactivate after a short time period outside a living body).

* I'm slowly working back up on exercise after having been away from it for too long (sick the first time, then it was too cold to walk during much of break, then I got the second URI). I've "paunched up" a little that I can notice, and that displeases me, so I'm glad I can get back to it. (I'm also trying to restrict things with added sugar. I don't eat A LOT of sugar to begin with - other than in things like fruit and milk - and I'm led to believe that naturally-occuring sugar is not as big a problem as added sugars). Also trying more portion control.

The problem is, working out DOES make me hungrier, I've noticed that.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I got in the dvd workout, and this morning I did 3.5 miles on the cross-country ski simulator. I pulled a muscle in my leg, I think, so I'm thinking maybe doing a rest-morning tomorrow and seeing if I feel like doing the dvd workout in the afternoon. (I'm okay once I get up and dressed and start working out, but that hauling-yourself-out-of-bed-before-5-am is painful and difficult and takes a lot of activation energy to get over). I also think I am more focused and calm during the day when I DO work out, but it stiiiiiiiiinnks to get up that early. (I am trying to go to bed more early so I keep a more or less constant amount of sleep).

I'm also hoping that once the weather stabilizes, I can motivate myself to maybe walk for 20 minutes at the end of the day outside - I read an article (might be "woo," might be not) talking about how people experienced a mild reduction in resting blood pressure after time spent outside. (Or: as spring progresses, try to spend 20 minutes or half an hour at least a couple days a week cleaning up my gardens - a lot of the old stuff has died and I want to get a couple butterfly bushes (Buddleja) to put in my backyard - and really, eventually, get a nice pollinator garden going back there. (Even though it's not native, I don't THINK Buddleja is invasive. I will have to check up on that. I generally prefer natives but I know this is so good for supporting butterflies and bees....)

I also read in Southern Living that February is the time to plant beets for a spring crop - in the past I was doing it too late and maybe that's why I never really got any. So I'm going to clear out one of my raised beds soon and get some beet seeds.

* My February (my birthday month, though I don't think they do anything...) Doki Doki Crate is on its way to me and that makes me happy. (If I felt like I had more disposable income at the moment, I might do more subscription services - I know there's one for make-up, for example, though I'd have to really state preferences  hard on that as I don't wear eye make-up and I have some allergies). It's nice to get mail that's not bills or charity solicitations.

No comments: